Steve Carter, Philadelphia Man, Finds Himself On Missing Children's Website

 @CareyDrew2
on April 27 2012 12:09 PM

Steve Carter, a 35-year-old software salesman, has found himself on a missing children's website.

Carter, who was adopted at age 4 from an orphanage in Honolulu, was browsing online one day when his curiosity got the best of him.

Just recently, it got more to the point where, 'wow I really wonder who my real birth parents are,' Carter said in an interview with CBS News.

That question and a simple web search was just the start of what would turn out to be a life altering discovery.

Carter logged on to MissingKids.com and started browsing through pictures involving cases of children reported missing in Hawaii over the past 34 years.

It was there that he found an age-progression image made from a photograph of him as an infant.

The first thought that came to head was, 'oh my God, that's me,' Carter said.

The adult composite that Carter found was of Marx Panama Moriarty Barnes. After making the discovery, Carter immediately contacted the Honolulu Police Department.

I let them know my info and they ran with it, he said. They were the ones who did all the legwork of investigating the case.

A DNA test was eventually administered in February 2011. Eight months later, it was confirmed that Steve Carter was in fact Marx Panama Moriarty Barnes.

In the aftermath of solving his own missing person's case, Carter made an effort to contact his biological parents

Carter eventually found Mark Barnes, his biological father who apparently reported him missing more than three decades ago after his mother, Charlotte Moriarty, took him for a walk and didn't return.

Barnes, who currently resides in Northern California with his two daughters, told CBS News that his wife disappeared one day with Carter in 1977.

But when Barnes reported the mother and son missing three weeks later, police came up empty on the investigation.

Carters mother had apparently changed her son's name, birthday and even the race of his father.

Carter would end up in an orphanage in Honolulu where he would be adopted at the age of four, with his birth certificate having been created almost a year after his birth and labeling him as half native-Hawaiian.

I don't really have many of the features of a native-Hawaiian . . . I mean there are a couple but very far and few between, Carter said

When Carter spoke to Barnes for the first time since he disappeared over three decades ago, he introduced himself over the phone in an attempt to make up for lost time.

I was absolutely thunderstruck and amazed, Barnes said in an interview with CBS. We just sort of, in an hour, tried to catch up on 32 years.

While Carter's case is one of the longest missing persons cases in US history, it's not a story that hasn't been heard before. In fact, Carter decided to dig deeper into his case after hearing about one that would eventually turn out to be similar to his.

CNN covered Carlina White's story. It popped up on my iPad, and right from there I went to the center's website, Carter said in an interview with CNN, referring to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

White, an Atlanta woman who made headlines last year after she found her own baby picture on the website, discovered that she had been kidnapped as a 3-week-old infant from a Harlem hospital in 1987 by a woman posing as a nurse. She reunited with her biological family in an emotional meeting last January.

While authorities refer to stories like Carter's and White's as rare findings, Thousands of children under the age of 18 go missing each year, the center for missing children reports.

Carter described his experience to CNN as a happy ending to a story that usually isn't a happy ending.

Good things do happen, he added.

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